Do You Have to Get Planning Permission for a Loft Conversion?

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Do You Have to Get a Planning Permission for a Loft Conversion

If you are planning on doing a loft conversion than you have probably wondered if you’re going to need to ask permission. It may be weird not to, since anything being built or added on needs to have a permit. But when your building a loft conversion, do you really need to ask for permission? Carai Lofts, which does loft conversions in Kent, has helped walk us through the key things to understand.

According to Planning Portal, “Planning permission is not normally required. However, permission is required where you extend or alter the roof space and it exceeds specified limits and conditions. A loft conversion for your house is considered to be a permitted development, not requiring an application for planning permission.”

It also depends on the loft conversion that you are planning to build. Some conversions such as Mansard lofts, where you will be extending the roof and the walls, will need permission in order to build, because you are changing the way the neighborhood looks and the property value. You may also need planning permission if you do not own the whole building.

Although you may need planning permission for most conversions, not all require permission to do so. Many small projects do not need permission, such as replacing windows or adding/replacing doors. But you may need to ask your local builder or architect just to make sure that what you are doing is still allowed under the permission regulations.

Building a Loft in a Historical Community

Building a loft may be in the best interest for you and your family but it may not be permitted in your town. knowing if your town is historical or has special architectures may make building a loft more difficult. If you have lived there for quite some time or have just moved in, it is always best to ask before causing trouble.

If you look around your area and can automatically tell that the buildings surrounding you are historic, then you may not be permitted to construct a loft. According to Drawing and Planning, “In a conservation area, you will require planning permission for all dormers and roof extensions. It is absolutely necessary to obtain the required conservation area consent prior to beginning any works. Going ahead without this may result in a fine or imprisonment, or both.”

Things You May Need to Consider

Although building a loft conversion may be the best fit for you and your family, there are also things you may need to consider before breaking ground. The three things to worry about are stairs, plumbing, and insulation. These three crucial things can bring your project to a halt as they need to be placed in a specific place.

The stairs may look good in the place you sketched on your blueprint, but does it abide by fire and safety regulations? Knowing the safest route for you or family members to escape should be a priority just in case anything were to happen. Knowing how much clearance you need above and below is also important to think about.

The plumbing is also important, as installing a bathroom means adding on to the existing plumbing. Make sure the main source of plumbing is not outdated and there are no leaks before adding on another bathroom. No one needs a pipe breaking halfway through the renovation of the new bathroom.

Insulation is needed to make sure that it is up to date and that you are not wasting energy. Hiring someone to check your insulation could be a good idea to keep everything running safe and smoothly.

Why Are Building Regulations Important?

According to Homeowners Alliance, “Building regulations apply to loft conversions to ensure, for example, that the structural strength of the new floor is sufficient, the stability of the existing structure is not endangered, there are safely designed stairs to the new floor and reasonable sound insulation exists between the conversion and the rooms below. There are also fire safety regulations with which you may need to comply”.

Knowing the regulations and permissions you need before even starting construction can help you know whether or not the conversion you are choosing is the right fit. Safety is important and the permissions helps keep the city, country, and your neighborhood regulated when building or adding on to the property.

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